Danielle Stella, the apparent QAnon conspiracy theorist and Republican candidate challenging Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), was arrested twice in the last year over alleged shoplifting, and pleaded guilty in 2009 to driving under the influence, according to The Guardian. Stella was accused of stealing 279 items from Target totaling over $2,000 on Jan. 8 this year; six months later, the 31-year-old special education teacher launched her campaign to unseat Rep. Omar. According to the January police complaint cited in the report, Stella told officers that she “remembers arriving at Target to purchase items but nothing else” due to post-traumatic stress disorder, and that she “normally she goes to Target with someone because of anxiety around people.” Stella recently described Minneapolis as “the crime capital of our country” and claimed crime in the city had risen by 80 percent over the past year. According to Minneapolis police data, there was only a 10.7 percent uptick, following a 16.5 percent decline the year prior.
In comments to The Guardian on Thursday, she denied the allegations. “If I was guilty of crimes, I would never run for public office, putting myself in the public eye under a microscope to be attacked by all political sides,” she was quoted as telling the newspaper.